You Know When the Men Are Gone

You Know When the Men Are Gone

Book - 2011
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A collection of interconnected stories relate the experiences of Fort Hood military wives who share a poignant vigil during which they raise children while waiting for their husbands to return.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2011]
ISBN: 9780399157202
Characteristics: 226 pages ; 22 cm


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DCPL_Christine Nov 30, 2017

This book was a thoughtful portrayal of stories of the lives of so many military couples. I was so touched that I was compelled to send a thank you letter to Siobhan. I like how she spoke about how the spouses had to work on new relationships repeatedly, because their families were not around, they built them on who they were stationed with. Being a Veteran and military spouse from the past, I really do miss the camaraderie. Very nicely done.

Apr 02, 2013

A child of the 1960s, I have no direct experience of military life and many admittedly ill-conceived notions about the people who -- by choice or happenstance -- live that life. This well-written collection of stories was a breath of fresh air that gently disabused me of some prejudices and taught me some new truths. I will look for more of this writer's work.

Mar 06, 2013

Just plain excellent! I loved every minute of this book and hated to see it end!

lilylibrarian Jan 25, 2012

The lives of military families in a time of war are illuminated in this beautiful book of eight short stories, some with recurring characters, all with a ring of compassionate truth. Terrific on audio

DesPlainesReaders Jul 31, 2011

This is a remarkable collection of short fiction from a debut author who draws on her own experiences as an army wife to bring life to her characters and truth to their stories. Centering on the relationships of military families coping with the deployment of husbands and fathers into harm's way in Iraq, each tale is simple but powerful and vividly real.

Eight interconnected stories take the reader on a tour of the army base at Fort Hood, Texas through the eyes and the hearts of the husbands and wives who live there and struggle to hold it all together in spite of fear, public scrutiny, infidelity, and crushing loneliness. The briefest synopsis of this collection can be summed up by a sign, described by Fallon, at the gate as you exit Fort Hood. It counsels: "You've Survived the War, Now Survive the Homecoming."

Overall, the book is a fast, engaging read that brings the damages of war home by focusing not on politics but on people who live with it every day. It is accessible, poignant, and well worth reading. (WeAreSpartacus/Ms_Fitz)

m2 Jun 20, 2011

Beautiful book. Write on, Ms. Fallon!
Should be required reading for anyone paying taxes stateside.

Poignant. Strong.

Crheneghan May 07, 2011

Pognant stories of the wives of men serving in the military and the consequences of separation and trauma.

jausten27 Apr 13, 2011

Here is the fan mail I sent to Siobhan Fallon:

Dear Siobhan Fallon, Yesterday I read your book. Today, in between the depressing news in the New York Times and the trivial news in the Chicago Tribune, I read it again. I've already recommended it to four people and will recommend it to many more (I'm a librarian, however, so don't get too excited about sales). The stories are so simple and so powerful. I was awake a good part of last night thinking about them. The characters are real and haunting, brought to life by force of need, yours and theirs. Thank you and thank NPR and Booklist for letting me know about your book.

Her reply: Thank you so much! Wow, how great to hear from you (I have just gotten to Amman, Jordan, and jet lag has been cruel, but I've reread your email a couple of times with my first morning cup of coffee and your email is better than any early jolt of caffeine!). Librarians have been especially good to me, I am so happy to hear that you are recommending the book to your readers. Thanks again for taking the time to write. All the best to you, Siobhan

Who wouldn't want to read a book by this author?


julij Jan 24, 2011

The selection for One Book Two Villages 2011.


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DesPlainesReaders Jul 31, 2011

You've Survived the War, Now Survive the Homecoming.

DesPlainesReaders Jul 31, 2011

In Fort Hood housing, like all army housing, you get used to hearing through the walls... You learn too much. And you learn to move quietly through your own small domain. You also know when the men are gone. No more boots stomping above, no more football games turned up too high, and, best of all, no more front doors slamming before dawn as they trudge out for their early formation, sneakers on metal stairs, cars starting, shouts to the windows above to throw them down their gloves on cold desert mornings. Babies still cry, telephones ring, Saturday morning cartoons screech, but without the men, there is a sense of muted silence, a sense of muted life.


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rdl727 Feb 11, 2011

rdl727 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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